Lent in Venice: Basilica San Marco

Visit the Basilica San Marco at 9:30 in the morning, about a half hour before the tour groups arrive. We climbed the steep stairs to the balcony, and had the outdoor roof terrace, overlooking the piazza, almost completely to ourselves. They charge three euros to access the balcony now, and inside they have created a little museum with mosaics and marble fragments, and models, and of course the originals of the four bronze horses which have been replaced on the façade with copies. But the best part of the balcony is still the view of the piazza from the outside, and the view of the interior of the church and its mosaics from the inside. And having it not mobbed with people is great. Afterwards walk through the church again—the vastness of the space and the richness of decoration and the detail of the mosaics are almost overwhelming.

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